New police and budget will be the new city manager's focus - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New police and budget will be the new city manager's focus

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YAKIMA, Wash- Tuesday marked the first day in office for Yakima's new city manager, Don Cooper.   Cooper will need to handle things like crime and economic development he says his first priorities are the budget and filling the vacant police chief seat. 

Sam Granato. the last police chief stepped down at the end of 2010 after a rocky time in office that included lawsuits filed against him by his own staff.

Cooper admitted finding a good fit for the job will be harder for him because he is not familiar with the police department employees but he says he'll take input from police officers.

"Personality, commitment, understanding of the community especially among the chief of police is going to be very difficult to do and sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don't and the bigger issue is if it gets wrong you need to cut your losses as quickly as possible", says Cooper.

Captain Greg Copeland has served as acting chief since the beginning of the year.  But has said before and reiterated Tuesday that he does not plan to apply to be the permanent chief.

The new city manager will be sworn in at Tuesday night's council meeting.